As the understanding of addiction grows, treatment models change over time. Where talk therapy was the only treatment for years, many treatment centers now use alternative and holistic therapies as supplements. In fact, one approach that shows a lot of promise with teens and adults is exercise therapy. However, what is exercise therapy?
Exactly What Is Exercise Therapy?
Specifically, exercise therapy uses physical activity to achieve a few ends. At the very top is basic physical health. Moreover, if you abuse drugs, you probably don’t spend much time staying in shape. Poor fitness slows healing and impairs the immune system.
It can also harm a person’s self-esteem if the lack of exercise brought on a weight gain. Furthermore, feeling bad about yourself can trigger more drug use. The drugs help you escape those feelings in the short-term, even if they make things worse over time.
Drugs latch on to receptors in your body and brain. As a result, that’s what triggers the good feelings or staves off withdrawal symptoms. Getting regular exercise addresses all three of these issues.
Your overall fitness improves and your immune system gets a jumpstart. In addition, it helps you rebuild your self-esteem. Exercise encourages your brain to make endorphins. These latch on to those same receptors, which can cut down on cravings.
What Qualifies as Exercise
Treadmills and weight machines work for busy professionals, but can prove tedious for those in recovery. Therefore, many treatment centers use recreational therapy to build exercise into their programs. For example, some answers to the question of what is exercise therapy include:
- Rock climbing
- Team sports
- Mountain biking
These kinds of activities encourage physical activity without making it feel like work. Swimming, for example, is an outstanding form of cardio that many people find fun. Intramural sports provide goals you can focus on instead of the pain of formal exercise.
Benefits of Exercise Therapy
In addressing the question of what is exercise therapy, it’s important not to overlook the benefits.
There are the previously mentioned benefits of improved fitness, fewer cravings, and better self-esteem. Of course, teens are at an impressionable age. Encouraging physical activity can help them develop good exercise habits that will last throughout their adulthood.
For example, exercises like hiking, biking, and skiing provide a distraction and outlet for nervous energy. Boredom triggers drug use in some people. Therefore, going for a long hike gives your teen’s brain something to do other than think about drugs.
Introducing teens to sports can help them improve skills, like cooperation and leadership. Sports also reinforce the idea of consequences and accountability.
Learn More About Venture Academy
Venture Academy offers drug and alcohol treatment for Canadian teens. We maintain locations in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Moreover, our programs include:
- Individual counselling
- Family therapy
- Assessment and treatment plan development
- Education and behaviour treatment
Is your teen struggling with addiction? You can support their recovery by connecting them with a quality drug rehab. Call 866.762.2211 and find out how Venture Academy is right for your teen.